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Bioorg Chem. 2009 Dec;37(6):217-22. doi: 10.1016/j.bioorg.2009.09.001. Epub 2009 Sep 10.

Phosphorylated hydroxyethylamines as novel inhibitors of the bacterial cell wall biosynthesis enzymes MurC to MurF.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of bacterial peptidoglycan represent important targets for development of new antibacterial drugs. Among them, Mur ligases (MurC to MurF) catalyze the formation of the final cytoplasmic precursor UDP-N-acetylmuramyl-pentapeptide from UDP-N-acetylmuramic acid. We present the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of a series of phosphorylated hydroxyethylamines as new type of small-molecule inhibitors of Mur ligases. We show that the phosphate group attached to the hydroxyl moiety of the hydroxyethylamine core is essential for good inhibitory activity. The IC(50) values of these inhibitors were in the micromolar range, which makes them a promising starting point for the development of multiple inhibitors of Mur ligases as potential antibacterial agents. In addition, 1-(4-methoxyphenylsulfonamido)-3-morpholinopropan-2-yl dihydrogen phosphate 7a was discovered as one of the best inhibitors of MurE described so far.

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